Best Foods For Angelfish Based on Ingredient Quality

In their natural habitats, angelfish are technically omnivores, because they’ll sometimes consume some plant material. But mostly, they hunt for prey like small crustaceans, insects, larvae and other meaty foods.

It’s important to recreate this high protein diet as much as possible in the aquarium in order for your angelfish to truly thrive. 

To help you do this, I’ll explain how you can check any foods and instantly know if they’re high or low-quality. And I’ll also share my favorite commercial foods for angelfish.

Key Takeaways

  • First ingredients listed are the most important
  • General fish meal = Low-quality
  • A little wheat to help bind fish food together is okay
  • Specific fish meal is acceptable
  • Whole fish/shrimp/krill/insect as the first ingredient = highest-quality
  • Angelfish need a variety of animal proteins and plant foods
  • Spirulina is a great color enhancer for blues and greens
  • Shrimp, krill, and marigold are great color enhancers for reds, yellows and oranges

Foods which fit this for angelfish:

  • New Life Spectrum Optimum Flakes
  • Spirulina 20 Flakes
  • Omega One Super Color Flakes
  • Omega One Cichlid Pellets
  • Bug Bites Cichlid Formula
  • New Life Spectrum Cichlid
  • Northfin Krill
  • Northfin Cichlid
  • Omega One Veggie Rounds
  • Northfin Kelp Wafers
  • Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms

Always Check the Label (First Ingredient is the Most Important)

I’ll be honest with you, there are some major fish food brands out there, like TetraMin, that use cheap ingredients and fillers in their foods. 

Ignore the pictures of happy, healthy fish on the front of the can and take a look at the ingredients list on the back.

I was shocked by how many major brand foods use crappy ingredients. I really recommend that you read the ingredients list of any food you’re considering buying and to make sure you’re getting a  high quality product. 

Low-Quality Ingredients

Generic Fish Meal

Low quality foods will often list “fish meal” as a major ingredient, sometimes as the sole source of protein.

But, what is fish meal? Is it good for fish? Well, sort of… but not really. 

Generic fish meal is usually what’s left over from processing fish for human consumption. 

Here is an example of low-quality fish food you should avoid

Processing plants cut the fillets off of fish in order to sell them for human consumption. Then the skin, scales, bones, guts and other gross stuff gets thrown together and ground up into a paste that’s used to make fish food.

Doesn’t that sound just…delicious?

The problem is that most of the good stuff, the meat and omega fatty acids, has been stripped out already. So, fish meal has some nutrients, but whole fish would be so much better.

Fillers and Grains

Things like wheat middlings, soybean meal, wheat gluten and/or rice as a main ingredient is generally a sign that food is of low quality.

Fish aren’t meant to eat grains, especially angelfish who need high protein. They just haven’t evolved to be able to digest grains. 

And anything a fish can’t digest well just gets pushed through as waste, helping to foul your water.

Wheat and grains are acceptable when used as binding agents for whole fish/krill/shrimp

High-Quality Ingredients You Want

Now that we’ve gone over what not to buy, let’s go over what you do want in fish food.

Whole Fish

Whole fish is the gold standard for fish food ingredients. When you see something like “whole salmon” or “ whole menhaden” as one of the first ingredients, you’re looking at high quality food. 

Example of high-quality ingredients

The fish are still ground to a paste, but since the whole fish is used, you get all the easily digestible protein from the meat as well as the fish oils that provide omega fatty acids.

Pro Tip: Things like whole shrimp or krill are also high quality ingredients that are very nutritious to fish.

An example of high-quality whole fish meal

Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algae (technically a cyanobacteria, just about everybody calls it an algae) that grows in both freshwater and saltwater.

It’s jam packed with vitamins, minerals and even protein, that are easy to digest.

Even though it’s not a meaty food, it’s a great additive to an angelfish diet because it provides: calcium, iron, potassium and other important nutrients. 

It’s also been shown to be color enhancing.

Pro Tip: Spirulina isn’t just for fish! It’s also available as a nutritional supplement for people. 

Best Angelfish Foods Reviewed

New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes

These flakes are made from Protein sources, like krill, squid and whole fish, as well as great plant-based foods like a mix of seaweeds, kelp, spirulina, marigold and algae. They make a great staple diet for angelfish.

Click For Full Ingredients

Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Garlic, Fish Oil, Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema  cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate,Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement,Vitamin B12 Supplement,  Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride,Calcium Pantothenate,  L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food
New Life Spectrum Naturox Optimum All Purpose Flakes 90g Fish Food

    Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food

    Spirulina 20 has always been one of the foods that I rotate around for my various aquariums and my Angelfish love it. It is a good mix between animal based ingredients and large amounts of spirulina, which is packed with all sorts of different nutrients. I’ve always had good growth from this food.

    However, you should only feed this once or twice a week. The spirulina is rich in plant proteins, vitamins and minerals that can help improve both color and your angelfish’s overall health.

    I’m not that crazy about the fact that it contains soy flour and wheat flour, which are probably used as binding agents.

    Click For Full Ingredients

    Salmon Fish Meal, Spirulina Algae Meal, Soy Flour, Wheat Flour, Corn Starch, Dried Krill Meal, Shrimp Meal, Plankton Meal, Lecithin, Vegetable Oil, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C)

    Sale
    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce
    Zoo Med Spirulina 20 Flake Fish Food, 4-Ounce

      Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      Omega One Super Color Flakes

      Omega One is the best fish food company in the business, as far as I’m concerned. Not only do they provide high quality protein, but they also use a wide variety of protein sources.

      These flakes have always been a favorite in my fish room. They’re made up of great protein sources, like salmon, whole herring and whole shrimp. Mixed with pea protein, kelp and color enhancing marigold extract.

      Click For Full Ingredients

      Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Flour, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Mixed Tocopherols, Carmine, Annatto Extract, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Marigold Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

      Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz
      Omega One Super Color Flakes 5.3 oz

        Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets 3mm

        This variety of omega, one floating pellets, combine salmon, whole herring, whole shrimp, and kelp with color enhancing marigold extract. These are slightly larger pellets that are a good size for adult angelfish.

        Click For Full Ingredients

        Salmon, Wheat Flour, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ, Whole Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Herring Oil, Kelp, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Marigold Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, Niacin, Inositol, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

        Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 3mm Small Pellets, 3.5 oz Container
        Omega One Super Color Floating Cichlid Pellets, 3mm Small Pellets, 3.5 oz Container

          Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

          Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Formula

          Bug Bites Cichlid Food is a great way to add in some protein to your angelfish’s diet. Its main protein sources are black soldier fly larvae and salmon. The larvae helps mimic the insects that most fish eat in the wild. Because of the limited ingredient list, I would use this food as an add-on, rather than a staple.

          Click For Full Ingredients

          Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae, Salmon, Fish Protein Concentrate, Green Peas, Potato, Wheat, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Lecithin, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium L-Ascorbyl-2 Monophosphate, Calendula, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Riboflavin, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Inositol, Folic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement

          Sale
          Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.59 oz., A6580
          Fluval Bug Bites Cichlid Fish Food, Granules for Small to Medium Sized Fish, 1.59 oz., A6580

            Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula

            This sinking pellet is packed with proteins like krill, giant, squid and whole fish that’ll really benefit your angelfish. It also contains plant ingredients, such as a variety of seaweeds, and Marigold, which is a color enhancing ingredient.

            Click For Full Ingredients

            Krill (Euphasia superba), Squid (Dosidicus gigas), Whole Wheat Flour, Fish (Brevoortia tyrannus), Seaweed (Ulva latuca, Undaria pinnatafida, Euchema cottonii, Euchema spinosum, Chondrus crispus), Green Algae (Chlorella pyrendoidosa), Kelp, Garlic, Ginger, Astaxanthin, Spirulina, Fish Oil, Marigold, Bentonite Clay, Sea Salt, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Tocopherols (a preservative)

            Sale
            New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula Supplement, 300g
            New Life Spectrum Naturox Series Cichlid Formula Supplement, 300g

              Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

              Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets

              These slow, sinking pellets are primarily sourced from whole krill, kelp, and spirulina. This high protein content would be excellent for younger angelfish smaller than 5 inches.

              85% of this formula from Northfin is made of whole krill, so I totally forgive them that the next ingredient listed is wheat flour (used as binding agent). Krill gives this food a very strong odor that drives fish absolutely wild, which means it shouldn’t be too difficult to get your angelfish switched over to this food. 

              There’s only one protein source in this formula, so you’ll need to add on other foods in order to provide more variety.

              Click For Full Ingredients

              Whole Antarctic Krill Meal (Euphausia Superba), Wheat flour, Organic Kelp (Laminariales), Garlic (Allium Sativum), Spirulina (Dietary Supplement), Astaxanthin, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Cholecalciferol, Alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc, Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

              Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 80g)
              Northfin Fish Food Krill Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 80g)

                Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets 2mm

                These slow, sinking pellets compact with excellent protein sources, like krill, whole herring, Whole sardines, kelp, and spirulina. This is a great mix of plant and protein food sources that could easily be used as a staple diet for your angelfish.

                Click For Full Ingredients

                Whole Antarctic Krill Meal (Euphausia Superba), High DHA Omega-3 Whole Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Organic Kelp (Laminariales), Spirulina, Garlic (Allium Sativum), Astaxanthin, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Cholecalciferol, Alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc, Rosemary Extract (Rosmarinus Officinalis)

                Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 250g)
                Northfin Fish Food Cichlid Formula Slow Sinking Pellets (2mm 250g)

                  Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                  Pro Tip: When I feed sinking foods like this, I make sure that my fish have come forward to be fed and only drop a few pellets at a time so they have the opportunity to eat them before they reach the bottom.

                  Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds

                  These have always been one of my angelfish’s favorite foods. Made up of protein sources like salmon, whole herring, kelp, shrimp, and spirulina, pretty much every fish in the tank goes down to the bottom to munch on these.

                  Click For Full Ingredients

                  Salmon, Whole Herring, Wheat Germ Meal, Wheat Flour, Rice Bran, Dried Kelp, Shrimp, Pea Protein, Wheat Gluten, Spirulina, Herring Oil, Vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Inositol, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Citric Acid (Preservative), Vinegar, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Astaxanthin (Color), Canthaxanthin (Color).

                  Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds, Sinking, 8 Oz Container
                  Omega One Veggie Rounds, 14mm Rounds, Sinking, 8 Oz Container

                    Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                    Northfin Fish Food Kelp Wafers 14mm

                    I love that the first ingredient of these wafers is kelp. So many “algae wafers“ have no actual kelp or algae ingredients, just fish meal, and fillers. These mix plant-based ingredients like kelp and spirulina with quality protein, sources like krill, herring, and whole sardines.

                    Click For Full Ingredients

                    Kelp, Whole Antarctic Krill Meal, High Omega-3 (DHA) Herring Meal, Whole Sardine Meal, Wheat Flour, Spirulina, Garlic, Astaxanthin (Haematococcus Algae), Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamin A Acetate, L-Ascorby-2-Polyphospate (Source of Vitamin C), D-Activated Animal-Sterol (D3), DL Alphatocopherol (E), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Thiamine, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium, Zinc

                    Sale
                    Northfin Fish Food Kelp Wafers 14mm (250g)
                    Northfin Fish Food Kelp Wafers 14mm (250g)

                      Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                      Omega One Freeze Dried Bloodworms

                      Freeze dried bloodworms are a great source of extra protein. You wouldn’t want to make this your angel’s only food, but it makes a great supplement or treat.

                      You can also get frozen bloodworms, but frankly, they’re mostly water. With freeze dried, your fish are getting more concentrated nutrients.

                      It can take a bit to get your fish used to eating these, but I’ve always found that once they figure out what bloodworms are, they’ll gladly devour them.

                      One nice thing, they float for a very long time, giving fish ample opportunity to gobble them up.

                      Click For Full Ingredients

                      Freeze Dried Bloodworms

                      Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz
                      Omega One Freeze Dried Blood Worms, 0.96 oz

                        Last update on 2024-05-23 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                        Give Your Angelfish Variety

                        I hope I’ve given you all the information you need to put together a nutritious diet for your angelfish. They are a stunning addition to your aquarium, but they have very specific dietary needs.

                        Providing your fish with a varied diet is really important to their overall health. 

                        Think about it this way, you don’t eat just broccoli all day, every day. Sure, broccoli is really good for you, but it can’t provide everything you need.

                        So you eat a wide variety of foods and get all the different nutrients you need from the various  components of your diet.

                        Fish are no different. Giving them lots of different things to eat helps them get all of the nutrients they need.

                        Katherine Morgan
                        Katherine Morgan

                        Hey, there! I'm Katherine from Northwest Florida. An aquarium specialist, I've kept tanks for over two decades, enjoy experimenting with low-tech planted setups and an avid South American cichlid enthusiast.

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